Every yogi, no matter how much or how little experience you have with yoga, has one: that particular pose you love above all others. It’s the pose that feels most like home, and the one you keep wishing the teacher would call out next.
Here’s a guide to what a propensity for a certain yoga pose might have to say about you.
You’re grounded but you enjoy testing your limits. Tree Pose is often a favorite pose of newer yogis — it’s a first foray into challenging balancing poses, and when you nail it, it feels effortless. If you wobble more than you stand still in this pose, focus on feeling your connection to the earth by rooting down through the big toe mound of your standing foot and the sole of the foot that’s pressing in to your inner thigh. If you’re pretty stable here, prioritize lifting your ribcage and fingertips up as high as you can.
Whether you’re a Wheel junkie or just love lying down with your ribcage draped over a rolled up blanket, a propensity toward Backbends indicates an open heart, loving nature, and excitement about the future. Just be careful that your exuberance doesn’t lead to injury — if your quads, abdomen, chest and shoulders aren’t open in your Backbends, you could tweak your back. Translated to daily life, if you aren’t as flexible as you are strong, you could wind up with too much on your shoulders.
Sitting or standing, a love of Forward Folds indicates that you are introspective and not afraid to let yourself get quiet so you can hear you own thoughts. Forward bending is also associated with looking to the past — be sure you don’t spend so much time folding forward that you forget to be open to the present or anticipate the future.
Revolved Standing Poses
A love of Revolved Standing Poses indicates that you’re not afraid to take a bite out of the cookie of life. You’ve got a lot going on, and yet it all seems to work, because you know that it takes a delicate balance of hard work and surrender to keep it all together. Just remember to treat yourself to rest and a quiet practice of restorative poses to keep your batteries charged.
You’re interested in building your intuition and learning how to maintain a sense of trust in the face of a scary situation. Headstand aficianados are not afraid of a challenge. Like Handstand fans, you’re open to seeing things from multiple points of view. Your challenge is to learn how to find your center even when your world is turned upside down.
You’re a thrill seeker who knows how to find balance in the midst of chaos. Or, at least, you’re working your way toward it. Handstand fans aren’t afraid to look at things from a different vantage point from the average soul. The trick for you is to balance your exuberance with grace, and to learn how to fall softly for those times when your enthusiasm leads you into a precarious position.
Cobbler’s Pose, Pigeon Pose, and/or Split Pose
You’re not intimidated by a little discomfort and crave the release that comes from working your edges. People who love Cobbler’s Pose, Pigeon Pose and Split Pose also tolerate emotionally charged situations well — the hips are often storehouses for unprocessed emotions, and many people shy away from these poses because they aren’t comfortable with accessing the hidden feelings they may have. Just remember that boundaries are healthy. You don’t want to overextend yourself, making you either overly vulnerable emotionally or prone to muscle pulls physically.
Love Corpse Pose? You are likely tired, over-scheduled, and craving some profound rest. And what’s so wrong about that? Our society may prize people who can keep up a furious pace, but some part of you knows that there’s a time and a place for stillness, quiet and reflection. Indulge in a few moments of rest each day, always keeping in mind that the true challenge of the pose is to allow your mind to quiet without falling asleep or planning what you’re going to have for dinner.
Kate Hanley is a freelance writer who specializes in exploring the mind-body connection. She completed her yoga teacher training at OM Yoga in New York City and has studied with yoga teachers Rodney Yee and Cyndi Lee, as well as meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg.